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Pedigrees and I-FP-CIT SPECT scan images of the four families with GCH1 mutations involved in this study.

GCH1 gene and Parkinson's risk

A study published in Brain, led by researchers at UCL Institute of Neurology, has shown that genetic mutations which cause a decrease in dopamine production in the brain and lead to a form of childhood-onset Dystonia, also play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease.
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Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC)

The new Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC) has opened for clinical studies and trials

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Audioslide presentation on Claudia Manzoni's paper examining how fibroblasts with LRRK2 mutations react to starvation conditions and the possible deficits that they have in autophagy.

LRRK2 and autophagy in fibroblasts

In this paper Claudia Manzoni studies how fibroblast cells from people with Parkinson’s disease caused by mutations in LRRK2 react to starvation. Although the changes are quite subtle, there are differences between the way that fibroblasts that contain mutant LRRK2 respond to being starved – suggesting that there may be changes in the way that these cells regulate a key process called autophagy (a term which comes from the greek meaning to eat yourself, and is one of the ways that cells get rid of waste and recycle proteins and organellles).
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Drosophila fly model - University of Sheffield

Genetic mutations linked to Parkinson's disease

Research led by consortium researchers Dr Helene Plun-Favreau (UCL Institute of Neurology) and Dr Alex Whitworth (University of Sheffield), and collaborator Dr Heike Laman (University of Cambridge), has discovered how genetic mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease might play a key role in the death of brain cells, potentially paving the way for the development of more effective drug treatments. In the new study, published in Nature Neuroscience, the team of cross-institutional researchers showed how defects in the Parkinson’s gene Fbxo7 cause problems with mitophagy. More...

Autophagy

LRRK2 and autophagy

Mutations in LRRK2 are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease. Here, Claudia Manzoni talks about her research (funded by the Rosetrees Trust and the Michael J. Fox Foundation) into what LRRK2 might be doing within the cell: Parkinson’s disease is a brain illness that afflicts 1 in 500 people in the UK. High profile patients, such as the actor Michael J Fox, the boxer Muhammad Ali and the late Pope John Paul II, have raised public awareness of Parkinson’s and its devastating impact. More...

News

GCH1 gene and Parkinson's risk

Publication date:

Pedigrees and I-FP-CIT SPECT scan images of the four families with GCH1 mutations involved in this study.

A study published in Brain, led by researchers at UCL Institute of Neurology, has shown that genetic mutations which cause a decrease in dopamine production in the brain and lead to a form of childhood-onset Dystonia, also play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease.

The new Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC) has opened for clinical studies and trials

Publication date:

Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC)

The new clinical trials unit was established through a £20M capital award from the Wolfson Foundation to support high quality translational research and early intervention studies (both outpatient and inpatient) in Healthy Volunteers and patients.

LRRK2 and autophagy in fibroblasts

Publication date:

Audioslide presentation on Claudia Manzoni's paper examining how fibroblasts with LRRK2 mutations react to starvation conditions and the possible deficits that they have in autophagy.

In this paper Claudia Manzoni studies how fibroblast cells from people with Parkinson’s disease caused by mutations in LRRK2 react to starvation. Although the changes are quite subtle, there are differences between the way that fibroblasts that contain mutant LRRK2 respond to being starved – suggesting that there may be changes in the way that these cells regulate a key process called autophagy (a term which comes from the greek meaning to eat yourself, and is one of the ways that cells get rid of waste and recycle proteins and organellles).

Genetic mutations linked to Parkinson's disease

Publication date:

Drosophila fly model - University of Sheffield

Research led by consortium researchers Dr Helene Plun-Favreau (UCL Institute of Neurology) and Dr Alex Whitworth (University of Sheffield), and collaborator Dr Heike Laman (University of Cambridge), has discovered how genetic mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease might play a key role in the death of brain cells, potentially paving the way for the development of more effective drug treatments. In the new study, published in Nature Neuroscience, the team of cross-institutional researchers showed how defects in the Parkinson’s gene Fbxo7 cause problems with mitophagy.

LRRK2 and autophagy

Publication date:

Autophagy

Mutations in LRRK2 are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease. Here, Claudia Manzoni talks about her research (funded by the Rosetrees Trust and the Michael J. Fox Foundation) into what LRRK2 might be doing within the cell: Parkinson’s disease is a brain illness that afflicts 1 in 500 people in the UK. High profile patients, such as the actor Michael J Fox, the boxer Muhammad Ali and the late Pope John Paul II, have raised public awareness of Parkinson’s and its devastating impact.

GBA and mitochondria

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GBA neurons

Dr Laura Osellame tells us about her recent paper in Cell Metabolism about Mitochondrial dysfunction linked to loss of an enzyme called GBA: Gaucher Disease (GD) is a rare inherited disease, belonging to the family of lysosomal storage disorders. Mutations in the gene glucocerebrosidase (GBA) are responsible for the disease and can increase susceptibility to Parkinson’s disease (PD). Genetic studies undertaken at UCL and other hospitals around the world suggest that mutations in GBA are the most common genetic risk factor currently known for PD.

Alpha-synuclein in LRRK2 brains

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Image of alpha-synuclein

First author Adamantios Mamais tells us about his recent publication in Neurobiology of Disease: At the Queen Square Brain Bank (part of the UCL Institute of Neurology) we hold a large collection of post-mortem human brain tissue from patients with neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease (PD); a debilitating neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system. In the United States alone about 50,000 new cases are reported every year. The main symptoms include tremor, slow movement, rigid limbs and a shuffling gait while these worsen with time.

α-Synucleinopathy associated with G51D SNCA mutation: A link between Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy?

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Immunofluorescent image showing a-synuclein in green.

a-Synucleinopathies share the common feature of depositions of a-synuclein protein in cells of the brain. In Parkinson’s disease (PD) these deposits occur in neurons or their processes and are known as Lewy bodies or Lewy neurites respectively. While the hallmark feature of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is the localisation of a-synuclein within oligodendrocytes, which is known as glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs).

Video: Parkinson's and the Genetic Revolution: From Genes to Treatments

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Poster: Parkinson's and the Genetic Revolution: From Genes to Treatments

Dr Patrick Lewis of University College London and Dr Flaviano Giorgini of the University of Leicester, discuss how their work on genetics is helping us develop treatments for Parkinson's.

Public lecture: The autophagy signaling network, c-­‐myc and pathology: don't mess with the cell cycle!

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Poster for Autophagy in London public lecture

You are invited to a public lecture by Francesco Cecconi, an eminent scientist in the field of autophagy and neurodegeneration, on Thursday the 25th of April at 17:00, in the lecture theatre of 33 Queen Square, University College Hospital London, WC1N. The lecture will be followed by a general discussion with drinks and food.

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